piece on the forgotten vaudeville great Eva Tanguay ("
"), I argue that "today's pop feels more than ever like one big reiteration of Tanguay's career," and that the divas who dominate the
charts are Tanguay's spiritual heirs. But it had somehow escaped my attention, in several years of researching and obsessing over Tanguay, that the pre-pubescent Britney Spears had belted out the vaudevillian's career-making signature number "I Don't Care" in a talent show performance immortalized on VH-1's
. (Big hat tip to
listener Chris Barker for bringing this to my attention.) Britney's brassy, big band-style "I Don't Care" is clearly less indebted to Tanguay herself than to
in the 1949 MGM musical
. Still, it's pleasant to contemplate the cosmic symmetry of our own millennial "I Don't Care Girl" blasting out Eva's proto-feminist anthem from 1904. And by the way, Britney sounds in better voice here than she has at anytime since.
TODAY IN SLATE
Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS
But the next president might.
Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.
The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything
It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.
How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?
Here are the facts.
The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender
What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?